‘Nature’s air-conditioning’ brings cooler weather after record breaking heat

Aug 1, 2022, 9:42 AM
mt rainier air-conditioning...
Photo from the National Weather Service

This year, King County set records Sunday July 31 for the most consecutive days of high temperatures in the state’s recorded history, but now the weather is returning to the mid-70s for what most residents see as the typical summer weather.

Ted Buehner, KIRO Newsradio Meteorologist, gave a weekly forecast that is a big relief to Seattleites after a heatwave in one of the least air-conditioned parts of the country.

“Today [Aug. 1,] the coast and North interior shorelines will be in the 60s and 70s. More cooler Pacific air is in store for the rest of the week offering morning clouds to afternoon clearing with more seasonable highs in the 70s.” Buehner said.

That’s not to say that there isn’t a different form of air conditioning in the Pacific Northwest.

The cooler water of the Pacific Ocean cools the air before the ocean breeze brings it inland creating what Buehner calls “nature’s air-conditioning.” This air-conditioning was interrupted by the “heat dome” of trapped warm air coming from high-pressure systems over the Aleutian Islands in Alaska and Husdon Bay in Canada, preventing the cool ocean air from making its way inland.

This week we can see a return to normal, with slightly lower temperatures along the coast and more comfortable temperatures in King and Pierce Counties.

“Temperatures along the Interstate 5 corridor will be 10 to 20 degrees cooler today than the record six days in a row of 90+ degrees in the Seattle area. Highs along the coast and North interior shorelines will be in the 60s and 70s.” Buehner said.

Heat wave set to break record for longest consecutive stretch of 90+ degree highs

All after a hot week in Seattle broke records; the temperature rose to 91 degrees Fahrenheit by early afternoon Sunday, July 31, the record sixth straight day the temperature rose above 90 degrees.

The National Weather Service issued an excessive heat warning for both the Portland and Seattle regions that ended yesterday.

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‘Nature’s air-conditioning’ brings cooler weather after record breaking heat